Data-Driven Approaches to Improve Senior Living

Data-driven approaches have become standard across many industries, but some still need to catch up for using Big Data. Health care has slowly embraced digital transformation and data analytics, but senior living facilities have room to improve under that umbrella. If more long-term care (LTC) organizations adopted data initiatives, they could significantly improve their patients’ standards of living.

Almost a quarter of LTC providers report having “very little” ability to access and share patient data electronically. Nearly a third still rely on email or fax for these processes, and 18% are entirely manual. Consequently, data analytics remains an area of untapped potential for many of these facilities.

Personalizing Care

Individualized care is one of the most promising applications of data analytics in health care and senior living is no exception. Using machine learning to analyze electronic health records would enable LTC organizations to tailor care to individual patients.

AI can analyze patients’ medical history and larger trends among similar cases to determine what steps may result in the best health outcomes for each patient. Personalized plans of care like this have yielded favorable results, such as 12% reductions in emergency room visits and 8% increases in medication adherence.

As more LTC facilities use data analytics to personalize care, they’ll generate more data on which steps work best for different cases. This data will lead to long-term improvements, making AI an increasingly reliable personalization tool.

Accelerating Emergency Response

Data-driven approaches can also help senior living facilities respond faster to any emergencies. Wearables and other Internet of Things technologies can track health factors like heart rates, body temperatures and more, analyzing this data in real-time to monitor for abnormalities. As soon as anything falls out of acceptable parameters, they can alert medical staff.

AI can often detect trends in data and interpret signals earlier and more accurately than humans. As a result, these early warnings could lead to unprecedented improvements in emergency response times, significantly improving patient outcomes.

In a 2022 study, 86% of patients agreed their health-monitoring wearables improved their health and quality of life. Even without emergencies, these results suggest implementing data-centric technologies can improve standards of living and satisfaction in LTC.

Streamlining Operations

LTC organizations can also achieve less critical but still essential benefits from data initiatives. Transitioning from paper and manual processes to embrace electronic data and automation will boost organizational efficiency and lower costs.

Analyzing data on workflows like response times, patient surveys, incident numbers and similar information can reveal where organizations can do better and where they’re doing well. These insights, in turn, guide more effective decision-making on reorganizing workflows or editing policies to improve standards of living or reduce costs.

As LTC organizations become more cost-efficient, they can lower patient costs. Those savings are crucial, considering 90% of American adults don’t have long-term care insurance, despite more than half needing such care. Using data-driven approaches to lower end costs will make these essential services more accessible.

Considerations for Data Analytics in Senior Living

Senior living organizations hoping to capitalize on data’s potential should keep a few things in mind. Interoperability is among the most important, as these businesses implement a wider range of electronic devices and services. Almost 90% of clinicians consult multiple electronic systems to access patient information, hindering efficiency, so LTC facilities should look for consolidated solutions providing a single access point.

Cybersecurity is another critical concern. There were over 700 major health care data breaches in 2022 alone, exposing millions of patient records. As LTC organizations increase their electronic data usage, they must adhere to strict access policies and implement advanced security safeguards to prevent these breaches.

Finally, senior living facilities must remember data-driven approaches only yield reliable results if the data itself is accurate. Investing in data verification and cleansing systems is a worthwhile endeavor to prevent losses from inaccurate or incomplete records.

Data Initiatives Can Boost Senior Standards of Living

When LTC organizations capitalize on their data, they can improve standards of living for their patients and make their companies more efficient. These advances benefit both the organizations themselves and their customers.

Data-driven approaches to senior care present a massive opportunity to the industry. As more LTC facilities become aware of and act on this potential, it will transform the sector for the better.

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